California Mold Laws

California's Mold Law - SB 655

 SB 655, Mitchell. Housing standards: mold.(1) Existing law requires the lessor of a building intended for human occupation to repair dilapidations, as specified, rendering it untenantable. Existing law permits tenants to repair dilapidations, under specified circumstances.This bill would provide that a lessor is not obligated to repair a dilapidation relating to mold, as specified, until he or she has notice of it or if the tenant is in violation of specified affirmative obligations. The bill would authorize a landlord to enter a dwelling to repair a dilapidation relating to mold, under specified conditions.(2) The State Housing Law, which is administered by the Department of Housing and Community Development, prescribes standards for buildings used for human habitation and establishes definitions for this purpose. The law provides that a building, or a portion of it, in which certain conditions are found to exist, such as a lack of sanitation, as specified, is substandard. The law provides that a violation of these provisions is a misdemeanor.This bill would specify that visible mold growth, excepting mold that is minor and found on surfaces that can accumulate moisture as part of their proper and intended use, is a type of inadequate sanitation and therefore a substandard condition. The bill would define mold as microscopic organisms or fungi that can grow in damp conditions in the interior of a building. By expanding the definition of a crime, this bill would impose a state-mandated local program.(3) The California Constitution requires the state to reimburse local agencies and school districts for certain costs mandated by the state. Statutory provisions establish procedures for making that reimbursement.This bill would provide that no reimbursement is required by this act for a specified reason.


THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS:

SECTION 1.

 Section 1941.7 is added to the Civil Code, to read:

1941.7.

 (a) An obligation shall not arise under Section 1941 or 1942 to repair a dilapidation relating to the presence of mold pursuant to paragraph (13) of subdivision (a) of Section 17920.3 of the Health and Safety Code until the lessor has notice of the dilapidation or if the tenant is in violation of Section 1941.2.(b) A landlord may enter a dwelling unit to repair a dilapidation relating to the presence of mold pursuant to paragraph (13) of subdivision (a) of Section 17920.3 of the Health and Safety Code provided the landlord complies with the provisions of Section 1954.

SEC. 2.

 Section 17920 of the Health and Safety Code is amended to read:

17920.

 As used in this part:(a) “Approved” means acceptable to the department.(b) “Building” means a structure subject to this part.(c) “Building standard” means building standard as defined in Section 18909.(d) “Department” means the Department of Housing and Community Development.(e) “Enforcement” means diligent effort to secure compliance, including review of plans and permit applications, response to complaints, citation of violations, and other legal process. Except as otherwise provided in this part, “enforcement” may, but need not, include inspections of existing buildings on which no complaint or permit application has been filed, and effort to secure compliance as to these existing buildings.(f) “Fire protection district” means any special district, or any other municipal or public corporation or district, which is authorized by law to provide fire protection and prevention services.(g) “Labeled” means equipment or materials to which has been attached a label, symbol, or other identifying mark of an organization, approved by the department, that maintains a periodic inspection program of production of labeled products, installations, equipment, or materials and by whose labeling the manufacturer indicates compliance with appropriate standards or performance in a specified manner.(h) “Listed” means all products that appear in a list published by an approved testing or listing agency.(i) “Listing agency” means an agency approved by the department that is in the business of listing and labeling products, materials, equipment, and installations tested by an approved testing agency, and that maintains a periodic inspection program on current production of listed products, equipment, and installations, and that, at least annually, makes available a published report of these listings.(j) “Mold” means microscopic organisms or fungi that can grow in damp conditions in the interior of a building.(k) “Noise insulation” means the protection of persons within buildings from excessive noise, however generated, originating within or without such buildings.(l) “Nuisance” means any nuisance defined pursuant to Part 3 (commencing with Section 3479) of Division 4 of the Civil Code, or any other form of nuisance recognized at common law or in equity.(m) “Public entity” has the same meaning as defined in Section 811.2 of the Government Code.(n) “Testing agency” means an agency approved by the department as qualified and equipped for testing of products, materials, equipment, and installations in accordance with nationally recognized standards.

SEC. 3.

 Section 17920.3 of the Health and Safety Code is amended to read:

17920.3.

 Any building or portion thereof including any dwelling unit, guestroom or suite of rooms, or the premises on which the same is located, in which there exists any of the following listed conditions to an extent that endangers the life, limb, health, property, safety, or welfare of the public or the occupants thereof shall be deemed and hereby is declared to be a substandard building:(a) Inadequate sanitation shall include, but not be limited to, the following:(1) Lack of, or improper water closet, lavatory, or bathtub or shower in a dwelling unit.(2) Lack of, or improper water closets, lavatories, and bathtubs or showers per number of guests in a hotel.(3) Lack of, or improper kitchen sink.(4) Lack of hot and cold running water to plumbing fixtures in a hotel.(5) Lack of hot and cold running water to plumbing fixtures in a dwelling unit.(6) Lack of adequate heating.(7) Lack of, or improper operation of required ventilating equipment.(8) Lack of minimum amounts of natural light and ventilation required by this code.(9) Room and space dimensions less than required by this code.(10) Lack of required electrical lighting.(11) Dampness of habitable rooms.(12) Infestation of insects, vermin, or rodents as determined by a health officer or, if an agreement does not exist with an agency that has a health officer, the infestation can be determined by a code enforcement officer, as defined in Section 829.5 of the Penal Code, upon successful completion of a course of study in the appropriate subject matter as determined by the local jurisdiction.(13) Visible mold growth, as determined by a health officer or a code enforcement officer, as defined in Section 829.5 of the Penal Code, excluding the presence of mold that is minor and found on surfaces that can accumulate moisture as part of their properly functioning and intended use.(14) General dilapidation or improper maintenance.(15) Lack of connection to required sewage disposal system.(16) Lack of adequate garbage and rubbish storage and removal facilities, as determined by a health officer or, if an agreement does not exist with an agency that has a health officer, the lack of adequate garbage and rubbish removal facilities can be determined by a code enforcement officer as defined in Section 829.5 of the Penal Code.(b) Structural hazards shall include, but not be limited to, the following:(1) Deteriorated or inadequate foundations.(2) Defective or deteriorated flooring or floor supports.(3) Flooring or floor supports of insufficient size to carry imposed loads with safety.(4) Members of walls, partitions, or other vertical supports that split, lean, list, or buckle due to defective material or deterioration.(5) Members of walls, partitions, or other vertical supports that are of insufficient size to carry imposed loads with safety.(6) Members of ceilings, roofs, ceiling and roof supports, or other horizontal members which sag, split, or buckle due to defective material or deterioration.(7) Members of ceilings, roofs, ceiling and roof supports, or other horizontal members that are of insufficient size to carry imposed loads with safety.(8) Fireplaces or chimneys which list, bulge, or settle due to defective material or deterioration.(9) Fireplaces or chimneys which are of insufficient size or strength to carry imposed loads with safety.(c) Any nuisance.(d) All wiring, except that which conformed with all applicable laws in effect at the time of installation if it is currently in good and safe condition and working properly.(e) All plumbing, except plumbing that conformed with all applicable laws in effect at the time of installation and has been maintained in good condition, or that may not have conformed with all applicable laws in effect at the time of installation but is currently in good and safe condition and working properly, and that is free of cross connections and siphonage between fixtures.(f) All mechanical equipment, including vents, except equipment that conformed with all applicable laws in effect at the time of installation and that has been maintained in good and safe condition, or that may not have conformed with all applicable laws in effect at the time of installation but is currently in good and safe condition and working properly.(g) Faulty weather protection, which shall include, but not be limited to, the following:(1) Deteriorated, crumbling, or loose plaster.(2) Deteriorated or ineffective waterproofing of exterior walls, roofs, foundations, or floors, including broken windows or doors.(3) Defective or lack of weather protection for exterior wall coverings, including lack of paint, or weathering due to lack of paint or other approved protective covering.(4) Broken, rotted, split, or buckled exterior wall coverings or roof coverings.(h) Any building or portion thereof, device, apparatus, equipment, combustible waste, or vegetation that, in the opinion of the chief of the fire department or his deputy, is in such a condition as to cause a fire or explosion or provide a ready fuel to augment the spread and intensity of fire or explosion arising from any cause.(i) All materials of construction, except those that are specifically allowed or approved by this code, and that have been adequately maintained in good and safe condition.(j) Those premises on which an accumulation of weeds, vegetation, junk, dead organic matter, debris, garbage, offal, rodent harborages, stagnant water, combustible materials, and similar materials or conditions constitute fire, health, or safety hazards.(k) Any building or portion thereof that is determined to be an unsafe building due to inadequate maintenance, in accordance with the latest edition of the Uniform Building Code.(l) All buildings or portions thereof not provided with adequate exit facilities as required by this code, except those buildings or portions thereof whose exit facilities conformed with all applicable laws at the time of their construction and that have been adequately maintained and increased in relation to any increase in occupant load, alteration or addition, or any change in occupancy.When an unsafe condition exists through lack of, or improper location of, exits, additional exits may be required to be installed.(m) All buildings or portions thereof that are not provided with the fire-resistive construction or fire-extinguishing systems or equipment required by this code, except those buildings or portions thereof that conformed with all applicable laws at the time of their construction and whose fire-resistive integrity and fire-extinguishing systems or equipment have been adequately maintained and improved in relation to any increase in occupant load, alteration or addition, or any change in occupancy.(n) All buildings or portions thereof occupied for living, sleeping, cooking, or dining purposes that were not designed or intended to be used for those occupancies.(o) Inadequate structural resistance to horizontal forces.“Substandard building” includes a building not in compliance with Section 13143.2.However, a condition that would require displacement of sound walls or ceilings to meet height, length, or width requirements for ceilings, rooms, and dwelling units shall not by itself be considered sufficient existence of dangerous conditions making a building a substandard building, unless the building was constructed, altered, or converted in violation of those requirements in effect at the time of construction, alteration, or conversion.

SEC. 4.

 No reimbursement is required by this act pursuant to Section 6 of Article XIII B of the California Constitution because the only costs that may be incurred by a local agency or school district will be incurred because this act creates a new crime or infraction, eliminates a crime or infraction, or changes the penalty for a crime or infraction, within the meaning of Section 17556 of the Government Code, or changes the definition of a crime within the meaning of Section 6 of Article XIII B of the California Constitution. 

SB 732 - California

  California mold disclosure law took effect January 1, 2002, but real estate sellers and prospective landlords won't have to disclose the presence of mold in homes and buildings to prospective buyers and tenants under this law until some later date, most likely January of 2004.
 

This change in the law will require modifications to how sellers, real estate brokers and agents do business. The property seller's transfer disclosure statement must now include mold inspections. Additionally, the California State Department of Toxic Substance Control will soon include a chapter on toxic mold in its Environmental Hazards Handbook, a reference material provided to sellers and buyers.  Senate Bill No. 732 CHAPTER 584 An act to amend Section 1102.6 of the Civil Code, and to add Chapter18 (commencing with Section 26100) to Division 20 of, the Health and Safety Code, relating to toxic mold. [Approved by Governor October 5, 2001. Filed with Secretary of State October 7, 2001.]
 

LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL’S DIGEST SB 732, Ortiz. Toxic mold.
Existing law provides the State Department of Health Services with various powers to enforce its regulations, to promulgate regulations to protect the public health, and to enjoin and abate nuisances dangerous to public health. The department is vested with the power to perform studies, evaluate existing projects, disseminate information, and provide training programs to enforce regulations related to public health. This bill would enact the Toxic Mold Protection Act of 2001. The bill would require the department to convene a task force comprised of various individuals including, but not limited to, health officers, health and medical experts, mold abatement experts, representatives of government-sponsored enterprises, representatives from school districts or county offices of education, representatives of employees and representatives of employers, and affected consumers and affected industries including, residential, commercial, and industrial tenants, proprietors, managers or landlords, insurers, and builders, to advise the department on the development of permissible exposure limits to mold, standards for assessment of molds in indoor environments as well as alternative standards for hospitals, child care facilities, and nursing homes, standards for identification, and remediation of mold.
 

This bill would require the department to consider the feasibility of adopting permissible exposure limits to molds in indoor environments. If it is determined to be feasible, the department would be required to adopt, in consultation with the task force, permissible exposure limits to mold for indoor environments that avoid adverse health effects. The department would be required to report its progress on developing the permissible exposure limits for molds by July 1, 2003. This bill would require that, in the process of adopting the permissible exposure limits, the department would be required to conduct studies, consider specific delineated criteria, and consult with the task force to arrive at both permissible exposure limits to mold to avoid adverse effects on health on the general public and alternative permissible exposure limits to avoid adverse health effects for hospitals, child care facilities, and nursing homes, whose primary business is to serve members of a subgroup that is a meaningful portion of the general population. This bill would also require the department, in consultation with the task force, to develop and adopt guidelines for the identification and the remediation of toxic molds. This bill would require that, after the adoption of permissible exposure limits to molds, the department review and revise the exposure limits at least once every 5 years and consider any new technological or treatment techniques or new scientific evidence that indicates that molds may present a different health risk than was previously determined. This bill would also require the department to develop and adopt standards for the assessment of the health threat posed by the presence of molds, both visible and invisible or hidden, in indoor environments. The department would be required to consider specific delineated criteria in developing the assessment standard including the balancing of the protection of public health with technological and economic feasibility. The department would also be authorized to adopt alternative assessment standards for hospitals, child care facilities, and nursing homes. The department would be required to report its progress on developing the assessment standards for molds by July 1, 2003. After the adoption of mold assessment standards, the department would review and revise the exposure limits at least once every 5 years and consider any new technological or treatment techniques or new scientific evidence that indicates that molds may present a different health risk than was previously determined. The bill would provide for specific protocol to allow the public to be involved in the process to determine permissible exposure limits to mold, guidelines for identification and remediation of mold, and the guidelines for the assessment of molds. This bill would require the department to develop public education materials and resources to inform the public about the health effects of molds, methods of prevention, methods of identification and remediation of mold growth, and contact information to organizations or governmental entities to assist public concerns. This bill would, except under specified circumstances, also require that any person who sells, transfers, or rents residential, commercial, or industrial real property or a public entity that owns, leases, or operates a building who knows, or in specified instances has reasonable cause to believe, that mold is present that affects the unit or building, and the mold exceeds the permissible exposure limits to molds, would be required to provide a written disclosure to potential buyers, prospective tenants, renters, landlords, or occupants of the mold conditions. However, this bill would not require a landlord, owner, seller, or transferor to conduct air or surface tests to determine whether the presence of molds exceeds the permissible exposure limits or for mold remediation. These disclosure duties and requirements would not apply until the January 1 or July 1 that occurs at least 6 months after the department adopts the requisite standards, and guidelines, as provided in the bill. This bill would authorize the enforcement of all conditions of this bill, including the disclosure provisions, by designated enforcement officers. The implementation of this bill would depend on the extent to which the department determines funds are available for its implementation.
 

The people of the State of California do enact as follows:
SECTION 1. Section 1102.6 of the Civil Code is amended to read:
1102.6. The disclosures required by this article pertaining to the property proposed to be transferred are set forth in, and shall be made on a copy of, the following disclosure form:
 

[DISCLOSURE FORM NOT SHOWN HERE]
Click here for SDAR Realtor® disclosure form. PDF format.
 

SEC. 2. Chapter 18 (commencing with Section 26100) is added to Division 20 of the Health and Safety Code, to read:
 

CHAPTER 18. TOXIC MOLD Article 1. General Provisions
26100. This chapter shall be known, and may be cited, as the Toxic Mold Protection Act of 2001.
26101. For purposes of this chapter, the following definitions apply:
 

(a) ‘‘Affect’’ means to cause a condition by the presence of mold in the dwelling unit, building, appurtenant structure, common wall, heating system, or ventilating and air-conditioning system that affects the indoor air quality of a dwelling unit or building.
 

(b) ‘‘Authoritative bodies’’ means any recognized national or international entities with expertise on public health, mold identification and remediation, or environmental health, including, but not limited to, other states, the United States Environmental Protection Agency, the World Health Organization, the American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists, the New York City Department of Health, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the American Industrial Hygiene Association.
 

(c) ‘‘Certified Industrial Hygienist’’ means a person who has met the education, experience, and examination requirements of an industrial hygiene certification organization as defined in Section 20700 of the Business and Professions Code.
 

(d) ‘‘Code enforcement officer’’ means a local official responsible for enforcing housing codes and maintaining public safety in buildings using an interdepartmental approach at the local government level.
 

(e) ‘‘Department’’ means the State Department of Health Services, designated as the lead agency in the adoption of permissible exposure limits to mold in indoor environments, mold identification and remediation efforts, and the development of guidelines for the determination of what constitutes mold infestation.
 

(f) ‘‘Indoor environments’’ means the affected dwelling unit or affected commercial or industrial building.
 

(g) ‘‘Mold’’ means any form of multicellular fungi that live on plant or animal matter and in indoor environments. Types of mold include, but are not limited to, Cladosporium, Penicillium, Alternaria, Aspergillus, Fuarim, Trichoderma, Memnoniella, Mucor, and Stachybotryschartarum, often found in water-damaged building materials.
 

(h) ‘‘Person’’ means an individual, corporation, company, association, partnership, limited liability company, municipality, public utility, or other public body or institution.
 

(i) ‘‘Public health officer’’ means a local health officer appointed pursuant to Section 101000 or a local comprehensive health agency designated by the board of supervisors pursuant to Section 101275 to carry out the drinking water program.
 

26101.5. All standards that the department develops pursuant to this chapter shall be in accordance with existing administrative law procedures applicable to the development of regulations.
 

26101.7. The department shall convene a task force which shall advise the department on the development of standards pursuant to Sections 26103, 26105, 26106, 26120, and 26130. The task force shall be comprised of representatives of public health officers, environmental health officers, code enforcement officers, experts on the health effects of molds, medical experts, certified industrial hygienists, mold abatement experts, representatives of government-sponsored enterprises, representatives from school districts or county offices of education, representatives of employees and representatives of employers, and affected consumers, which include, but are not limited to, residential, commercial and industrial tenants, homeowners, environmental groups, and attorneys, and affected industries, which include, but are not limited to, residential, commercial and industrial building proprietors, managers or landlords, builders, realtors, suppliers of building materials and suppliers of furnishings, and insurers. Task force members shall serve on a voluntary basis and shall be responsible for any costs associated with their participation in the task force. The department shall not be responsible for travel costs incurred by task force members or otherwise compensating task force members for costs associated with their participation in the task force.
 

26102. The department shall consider the feasibility of adopting permissible exposure limits to mold in indoor environments.
 

26103.
(a) If the department finds that adopting permissible exposure limits to mold in indoor environments is feasible, the department, in consultation with the task force convened pursuant to Section 26101.7, shall:
 

(1) Adopt permissible exposure limits to mold for indoor environments that avoid adverse effects on health, with an adequate margin of safety, and avoid any significant risk to public health.
 

(2) Notwithstanding paragraph (1), balance the protection of public health with technological and economic feasibility when it adopts permissible exposure limits.
 

(3) Utilize and include the latest scientific data or existing standards adopted by authoritative bodies.
 

(4) Develop permissible exposure limits that target the general population.
 

(b) The department shall consider all of the following criteria when it adopts permissible exposure limits for molds in indoor environments:
 

(1) The adverse health effects of exposure to molds on the general population, including specific effects on members of subgroups that comprise a meaningful portion of the general population, which may include infants, children age 6 years and under, pregnant women, the elderly, asthmatics, allergic individuals, immune compromised individuals, or other subgroups that are identifiable as being at greater risk of adverse health effects than the general population when exposed to molds.
 

(2) The standards for molds, if any, adopted by authoritative bodies.
 

(3) The technological and economic feasibility of compliance with the proposed permissible exposure limit for molds. For the purposes of determining economic feasibility pursuant to this paragraph, the department shall consider the costs of compliance to tenants, landlords, homeowners, and other affected parties.
 

(4) Toxicological studies and any scientific evidence as it relates to mold.
 

(c) The department may develop alternative permissible exposure limits applicable for facilities, which may include hospitals, child care facilities, and nursing homes, whose primary business is to serve members of subgroups that comprise a meaningful portion of the general population and are at greater risk of adverse health effects from molds than the general population. These subgroups may include infants, children age 6 years and under, pregnant women, the elderly, asthmatics, allergic individuals, or immune compromised individuals.
 

(d) The department shall report to the Legislature on its progress in developing the permissible exposure limit for molds by July 1, 2003.
 

26104.
(a)
(1) The department shall, at the time it commences preparation of the permissible exposure limits to mold, provide notice electronically by posting on its Internet Web site a notice that informs interested persons that the department has initiated work on the permissible exposure limits to mold.
 

(2) The notice shall also include a brief description or a bibliography of the technical documents or other information the department has identified to date as relevant to the preparation of the permissible exposure limits.
 

(3) The notice shall inform persons who wish to submit information concerning exposure to molds of the name and address of the person in the department to whom the information may be sent, the date by which the information must be received in order for the department to considerit in the preparation of the permissible exposure limits, and that all information submitted will be made available to any member of the public who makes the request.
 

(b) The department may amend the permissible exposure limits to molds to make the limits less stringent if the department shows clear and convincing evidence that the permissible exposure limits to molds should be made less stringent and the amendment is made consistent with Section 26103.
 

(c) The department may review, and consider adopting by reference, any information prepared by, or on behalf of the United States Environmental Protection Agency or other authoritative bodies, for the purpose of adopting national permissible exposure limits to molds.
 

(d) At least once every five years, after adoption of permissible exposure limits to molds, the department shall review the adopted limits and shall, consistent with the criteria set forth in subdivisions (a) and (b) of Section 26103, amend the permissible exposure limits if any of the following occur:
 

(1) Changes in technology or treatment techniques that permit a materially greater protection of public health.
 

(2) New scientific evidence that indicates that molds may present a materially different risk to public health than was previously determined.
 

26105.
(a) The department, in consultation with the task force convened pursuant to Section 26101.7, shall adopt practical standards to assess the health threat posed by the presence of mold, both visible and invisible or hidden, in an indoor environment.
 

(b) The department shall adopt assessment standards for molds that do the following:
 

(1) Protect the public’s health.
 

(2) Notwithstanding paragraph (1), balance the protection of public health with technological and economic feasibility when it adopts assessment standards.
 

(3) Utilize and include the latest scientific data or existing standards for the assessment of molds adopted by authoritative bodies.
 

(4) Develop standards that target the general population.
 

(5) The department shall ensure that air or surface testing is not required to determine whether the presence of mold constitutes a health threat posed by the presence of mold, both visible and invisible or hidden, in an indoor environment.  

 On October 9, 2015, California Governor Brown signed Senate Bill 655 which adds visible mold growth to the list of dangerous health conditions which define substandard housing in the state’s Health and Safety Code.(Cal. Health & Safety Code §17920.3).This is great news for victims in California who have been exposed to toxic mold in water damaged homes they are renting from lousy landlords who cut costs and corners when it comes to their water damaged and moldy homes. Now they will be held accountable under California law.As of January 1, 2016, mold is now officially a condition under California law that makes a home substandard. The owner of a rental property cited as by a local (city or county) code inspector substandard is required to repair the substandard condition. The California Department of Consumer Affairs had said,“… the presence of mold conditions in the rental unit that affect the livability of the unit or the health and safety of tenants” may be a way in which the implied habitability of a unit is violated and that a tenant may be able to claim a breach of the implied warranty on the basis of documented contamination.The law specifies that visible mold growth, excepting mold that is minor and found on surfaces that can accumulate moisture as part of their proper and intended use, is a type of inadequate sanitation and therefore a substandard condition. Under the law, mold is classified as microscopic organisms or fungi that can grow in damp conditions in the interior of a building. By expanding the definition of a crime, this bill would impose a state-mandated local program.The bill provides local enforcement agencies with clear authority to address mold complaints and to require the cleaning and removal of moldy materials and the remediation of moisture intrusion problems. It will also mean that code enforcement officers need expertise in mold assessment and remediation.The California Department of Public Health (CDPH) had stated in its “Statement on Building Dampness, Mold, and Health” (updated 2016):“CDPH has concluded that the presence of water damage, dampness, visible mold, or mold odor in schools, workplaces, residences, and other indoor environments is unhealthy. We recommend against measuring indoor microorganisms or using the presence of specific microorganisms to determine the level of health hazard or the need for urgent remediation.Rather, we strongly recommend addressing water damage, dampness, visible mold, and mold odor by (a) identification and correction of the source of water that may allow microbial growth or contribute to other problems, (b) the rapid drying or removal of damp materials, and (c) the cleaning or removal of mold and moldy materials, as rapidly and safely as possible, to protect the health and well-being of building occupants, especially children.”CDPH’s position is based on the current consensus among scientists and medical experts (cited in the Statement) that:

  • Visible water damage, damp materials, visible mold, and mold odor indicate an increased risk of respiratory disease.
  • The traditional methods used to measure mold exposure do not reliably predict health risks.
  • The differentiation of some molds as “toxic molds” that are especially hazardous to healthy individuals is not justified by available evidence.
  • The most important steps in dealing with indoor dampness or mold are to identify the source of moisture and take the necessary steps to make repairs to stop them, dry or remove damp materials, and clean or remove moldy materials.

MOLD LAW HISTORY

In 2001, the Toxic Mold Protection Act (Senate Bill 732, Ortiz*) mandated that the California Department of Health Services (currently the California Department of Public Health, (CDPH) determine the feasibility of setting Permissible Exposure Limits (PELs) for mold in indoor environments.The 2001 Toxic Mold Protection Act (SB 732, Ortiz) directed the California Department of Health Services (now California Department of Public Health or CDPH) to determine the feasibility of establishing health-based permissible exposure limits (PELS) for indoor mold. If that were possible, the CDPH was also directed to create programs to develop guidelines for mold assessment, clean-up, and disclosure in residences.However, the CDPH responded in 2005 (“Report to the California Legislature on Implementation of the Toxic Mold Protection Act of 2001“) that available evidence did not support the establishment of science-based PELs for indoor molds at that time. This view was reaffirmed in the Department’s July 2008 update. To date, as of 2015, the evidence on this question has not changed the CDPH position.The CDPH also said in 2005, that it “agrees with other building and health professionals that indoor dampness, water intrusion, or fungal growth should always be eliminated in a safe and efficient manner.” This advice was expanded in CDPH Statement on Indoor Dampness and Mold (2011), based on the increased availability scientific information.Here are some other mold laws on the books in California:2001 Bill Text CA A.B. 442 (9/30/02): Creates a Public Health Indoor Mold Hazard Fund to be utilized to provide guidance, developing standards, and guidelines regarding permissive exposure limits relating to indoor mold hazards.2001 Bill Text CA A.B. 2223 (9/30/02): Deals with indoor air quality for schools and provides that unnecessary accumulation of moisture that could lead to mold growth is to be avoided.2001 Bill Text CA A.B. 2684 (2/22/02): Intent of Legislature to limit the liability of a school district or the governing board of a school district for claims of personal injury or wrongful death resulting from the presence of ‘‘toxic mold’’ on school premises.2001 Bill Text CA A.P. 3034 (9/18/02): Provides that a residential landlord shall provide written disclosure to prospective tenants of the potential health risks and the health impact that may result from the exposure to mold by distributing a consumer-oriented booklet.2001 Bill Text CA S.B. 1763 (6/20/02): Provides disclosure requirements for an insurer where mold is ‘‘implicated or likely to be present’’; provides an obligation to ‘‘thoroughly investigate’’; mold is an ensuing loss under the policy (property or liability); mold shall be covered; must be excluded ‘‘clearly, explicitly and in readily understandable terms’’; defines mold as a form of multi-cellular fungi often found in water-damaged building materials.2001 Bill Text CA S.B. 1846 (6/25/02): Relates to fund of Medi-Cal and Healthy Families and recognizes the Toxic Mold Protection Act of 2002 and funding.2001 Bill Text CA S.B. 2098 (9/6/02): Recognizes that the Toxic Mold Act imposes various disclosure requirements on landlords, sellers, renters, transferors, and tenants of commercial or industrial properties pertaining to the presence of mold based on knowledge or reason to have notice of the presence of mold.California Civil Code §§ 1102—1102.18: Requires sellers of real property containing one to four residential units to complete a disclosure form indicating the presence of all environmental hazards, including radon gas, formaldehyde, and mold that are known to the seller. Also requires disclosure of whether property contains a carbon monoxide device. Requires resale of manufactured homes and mobile homes to include disclosure of environmental hazards in the home interior or exterior, including radon, formaldehyde, and lead-based paint, as well as the existence of a carbon monoxide device.California Education Code §§ 17070.75, 17002(d)(1): Requires school districts to establish a facilities inspection system to ensure schools are maintained in good repair, as a condition of receiving state school facility funds. Defines ‘‘good repair’’ to include interior surfaces free from water damage and showing no evidence of mold or mildew and to include functional and unobstructed HVAC systems. Requires state to develop an evaluation instrument consistent with the criteria set in the law. The Facility Inspection Tool developed by the state for use in school inspections includes several IAQ-related items that address ventilation and mold/water damage.California Health & Safety Code § 39619.6: Requires the Air Resources Board and the Department of Public Health to conduct a comprehensive study and review of the environmental health conditions in portable classrooms. Directs the study to include a review of design and construction specifications; a review of school maintenance practices; an assessment of IAQ; and an assessment of potential toxic contamination, including mold contamination. Provides that the study shall address the need for modified design and construction standards; emission limits for building materials and classroom furnishings; and other mitigation actions to ensure the protection of children’s health.California Health & Safety Code §§ 26101—26157: Requires the state health agency to consider the feasibility of adopting permissible exposure limits to mold in indoor environments and, if feasible, to adopt such limits. Establishes criteria to consider in adopting standards, and provides that the department may also adopt alternative standards for facilities that serve people at greater risk of adverse health effects. Provides that the law shall be implemented only to the extent that the department determines that funds are available for its implementation. Establishes disclosure and property maintenance requirements for transferors, lessors, and tenants of real estate following the department’s issuance of standards and guidelines under the law. Authorizes local enforcement of any standards adopted by the department.California Health & Safety Code §§ 26200—26204: Requires the California Research Bureau, in consultation with the Department of Public Health and with the assistance of a review panel, to perform a study and to publish findings on fungal contamination affecting indoor environments. Requires the study to include information on health effects, assessment, remediation, and hazard communication, among other issues. Requires the California Research Bureau to submit its findings to the legislature and the Director of Public Health.California Health and Safety Code § 17920.3: Establishes minimum standards for residential rental properties. Includes ‘‘dampness of habitable rooms’’ as a substandard condition to the extent that it ‘‘endangers the life, limb, health, property, safety, or welfare of the public or the occupants.’’ Part of state housing code, which provides for local enforcement.California Labor Code § 142.3: Authorizes the Occupational Safety and Health Standards Board to adopt occupational safety and health standards that are at least as effective as federal standards. Regulations promulgated under the law (Cal. Code Regs., tit. 8, §§ 5142, 5143) apply to both private and public workplaces, such as schools. The regulations require that HVAC systems be operated continuously and inspected annually, and that HVAC inspection and maintenance records be made in writing and provided to the state and to employees upon request. Additional regulations governing general sanitation (Cal. Code Regs., tit. 8, § 3362) provide that when exterior water intrusion, leakage from interior water sources, or other uncontrolled accumulation of water occurs, those conditions must be corrected because of their potential to cause the growth of mold.SOURCES: 

Additional Mold Laws in Other States

  Florida Senate bill (SB2234) is in effect since July 1st 2010. This new mold law was put in place to protect consumers against fraudulent and unqualified mold companies. Under the new mold law:  

  • To prevent conflicts of interest mold remediation and      mold inspection must be performed by separate companies.
  • Home inspectors are not qualified to do mold testing or      inspections
  • Mold Inspectors are screened for prior criminal history      and must pass an FBI background check
  • Mold Inspection companies must carry $1 million dollars      in errors and omissions and general liability insurance
  • Mold inspectors must have the required education,      training and at least 4 years of documented experience
  • Mold inspectors must pass a state exam
  • Continuing education classes are required to maintain      active license

Michigan Are there laws in the State of Michigan related to mold issues? It might seem surprising, but the State of Michigan does not have laws that require anyone to cleanup, remove, or report mold in any indoor environment. Also, the State of Michigan does not have a program to address issues related to mold, other than to provide people basic information about mold clean-up. Moreover, the State of Michigan does not certify or license contractors for mold removal. Since 2002, the Michigan legislature has introduced six separate Bills regarding toxic mold and its disclosure in real estate transactions. Those Bills include:  

  • House Bill 4182 of 2005: This Bill, entitled “Revised      Judicature Act of 1961, was introduced and referred to the Committee on      Judiciary on February 3, 2005. It stated that any “person who knowingly      rents, leases, or sells improved real property that contains lead-based      paint, toxic mold, or asbestosis without disclosing its presence is liable      in a civil action” for “3 times the amount of damages sustained by the      plaintiff as well as costs and fees associated” with the lawsuit. Thus,      this Bill was an attempt to impose punitive damages on sellers who failed      to disclose, among other things, toxic mold.


  • House Bill 5422 of 2004: This Bill, entitled “Revised      Judicature Act of 1961, is similar to House Bill 4182 of 2005, and was introduced      and referred to the Committee on Judiciary on January 22, 2004. It stated      that any “person who knowingly rents, leases, or sells improved real      property that contains lead-based paint, toxic mold, or asbestosis without      disclosing its presence is liable in a civil action” for “3 times the      amount of damages sustained by the plaintiff as well as costs and fees      associated” with the lawsuit. Thus, this Bill was a prior attempt to      impose punitive damages on sellers who failed to disclose, among other things,      toxic mold.


  • Senate Bill 88 of 2003: This Bill, entitled “Seller      Disclosure Act,” was introduced on January 28, 2003, and referred to the      Committee on Economic Development, Small Business and Regulatory Reform on      May 20, 2003. It would have added a new paragraph to the current Seller’s      Disclosure Statement that read: “11. TOXIC MOLD: Are you aware of any      toxic mold on the property? If yes, please explain.” Thus, it would have      specifically required a seller to disclose toxic mold. This Bill is      similar to House Bill 6177 of 2002 below.


  • Senate Bill 172 of 2003: This Bill was introduced and      referred to the Committee on Economic Development, Small Business, and      Regulatory Reform on February 11, 2003. It proposed to create a new law      known as the “toxic mold disclosure act” that would have applied to “the      transfer of any interest in real estate, whether by sale, exchange,      installment land contract, least with an option to purchase, any other      option to purchase, or ground lease coupled with proposed improvements by      the purchaser or tenant, or a transfer of stock or an interest in a      residential cooperative.” The Bill included a two page “TOXIC MOLD      DISCLOSURE STATEMENT” that would have been used by a seller to disclose      toxic mold. This Bill is similar to House Bill 6179 of 2002 below.


  • House Bill 6177 of 2002: This Bill, entitled “Seller      Disclosure Act,” was introduced and referred to the Committee on Commerce      on June 5, 2002. It would have added a new paragraph to the current      Seller’s Disclosure Statement that read: “11. TOXIC MOLD: Are you aware of      any toxic mold on the property? If yes, please explain.” Thus, it would      have specifically required a seller to disclose toxic mold.


  • House Bill 6179 of 2002: This Bill was intended “to      require certain disclosures by sellers of real property” and was introduced      and referred to the Committee on Commerce on June 5, 2002. It proposed to      create a new law known as the “toxic mold disclosure act” that would apply      to “the transfer of any interest in real estate, whether by sale,      exchange, installment land contract, least with an option to purchase, any      other option to purchase, or ground lease coupled with proposed      improvements by the purchaser or tenant, or a transfer of stock or an      interest in a residential cooperative.” The Bill included a two page      “TOXIC MOLD DISCLOSURE STATEMENT” that would have been used by a seller to      disclose toxic mold.

Texas RULES AND REGULATONS became effective May 20, 2007  MOLD Download the Texas Mold Assessment and Remediation Rules (TMARR)   

  • In booklet form (DSHS Publication 2-15): Adobe PDF (408K) 

The TMARR are part of the Texas Administrative Code (TAC), specifically 25 TAC §§295.301-295.338, and can be accessed via the Texas Secretary of State Web site: Texas Administrative Code (TAC) Summary of Changes (pdf 20KB) to the TMARR  VIRGINIA
The state of Virginia will be licensing mold inspector and remediators beginning July 1, 2011.State law will now require a state license to perform mold inspections and-or remediation. The following link is the state’s guide lines or requirements: http://www.dpor.virginia.gov/dporweb/mold_regs.pdf state mold laws:  With increasing lawsuits, many states have found the need to develop mold laws that will hold people accountable for their actions. Find out which states are moving forward, and which ones are not. (Courtesy of the Environmental Law Institute - updated April 2006). Alaska 34.70.010-.200 Requires transferors of an interest in residential real property to provide to transferees a written disclosure statement prior to a written offer of transfer, and directs the Alaska Real Estate Commission to establish the form. Form developed by the commission [see http://www.dced.state.ak.us/occ/pub/rec4229.pdf] requires disclosure of knowledge of materials deemed to be environmental hazards.36.30.080,.085 Requires the Department of Administration to consider the indoor environment, among other factors, when evaluating proposals to lease space or to acquire or improve real property under a lease-purchase agreement. Arizona 15-2002 Requires the state school facilities board to provide information on improving and maintaining indoor environmental quality to school districts every two years. Arkansas In 2002, the Arkansas Supreme Court declared the state's education system unconstitutional, and the Legislature is taking several steps to alleviate the situation. The most recent change is the overhaul and assessment of the state's 5,766 public school buildings. ..."  California 1102--1102.18 Requires sellers of property containing 1-4 residential units to complete a disclosure form indicating the presence of all environmental hazards, including radon gas, formaldehyde, and mold, that are known to the seller.39619.6 Requires the Air Resources Board and the Department of Health Services to conduct a comprehensive study and review of the
environmental health conditions in portable classrooms. Directs the study to include a review of design and construction specifications; a review of school maintenance practices; an assessment of IAQ; and an assessment of potential toxic contamination, including mold contamination. Provides that the study shall address the need for modified design and construction standards; emission limits for building materials and classroom furnishings; and other mitigation actions to ensure the protection of children's health. [See report at: http://www.arb.ca.gov/research/indoor/pcs/pcs.htm].26101--26157 Requires the Department of Health to consider the feasibility of adopting permissible exposure limits to mold in indoor environments and, if feasible, adopt such limits. Establishes criteria to consider in adopting standards, and provides that the department may also adopt alternative standards for facilities that serve people at greater risk of adverse health effects. Provides that the law shall be implemented only to the extent that the department determines that funds are available for its implementation. Establishes disclosure and property maintenance requirements for transferors, lessors and tenants of real estate following the department's issuance of standards and guidelines under the law. Authorizes local enforcement of standards adopted by department.142.3 Authorizes the Occupational Safety and Health Standards Board to adopt occupational safety and health standards that are at
least as effective as federal standards. Regulations promulgated under the law (Cal. Code Regs., tit. 8, §§ 5142, 5143) require that HVAC systems be operated continuously and inspected annually, and that HVAC inspection and maintenance records be made in writing and provided to the state and to employees upon request. Additional regulations governing general sanitation (Cal. Code Regs., tit. 8, § 3362) provide that when exterior water intrusion, leakage from interior water sources, or other uncontrolled accumulation of water occurs, those conditions must be corrected because of their potential to cause the growth of mold .Illinois Joint Resolution 12 Creates a Joint Task Force on Mold in Indoor Environments, and requires the task force to make recommendations to the legislature regarding mold in indoor environments. Indiana 32-21-5-1--12 Requires sellers of property containing 1-4 dwelling units to complete a Seller's Residential Real Estate Sales Disclosure form. Rules adopted under the law (876 Indiana Admin. Code 1-4-1,2) establish the disclosure form, which requires sellers to disclose knowledge of hazardous conditions on the property, including radon gas and mold [see form at: http://www.in.gov/icpr/webfile/formsdiv/46234.pdf]. Kentucky 324.360 Requires a Seller's Disclosure of Conditions form to be used in residential real estate transactions if licensed real estate agents are involved and receive compensation. Requires the real estate commission to promulgate an administrative regulation authorizing the form. The regulations adopted (201 Kentucky Admin. Rules 11:350) require disclosure of any radon testing of the property, or the existence of mold or other fungi .Louisiana Act 333 (H.B. 943) Excludes mold and mold damage from specified builder's warranties for new homes and home additions, unless the parties agree otherwise in writing.37:1430 Directs the state Real Estate Commission to approve a mold information pamphlet, which may be distributed to buyers by real estate licensees in connection with any real estate transaction. Provides that if the licensee elects to deliver the mold information pamphlet to the buyer, the licensee is not required to provide any additional information about mold. Real Estate Commission has designated U.S. EPA as official source of state mold information under the law (see Louisiana Admin. Code 46:LXVII.3801).9:2800.15 Provides that licensed commercial or marine contractors, architects and engineers are not liable for mold damage unless caused by defects in workmanship or design. Also applies to manufactured homes and to real estate licensees representing commercial and marine contractors.22:667.1, 22:696 Requires that insurance policies for residential and commercial properties include a prominent disclosure of whether the policy covers mold damage.37:2181, et seq. Requires the State Licensing Board for Contractors to: adopt rules and regulations to govern mold remediation; issue, suspend, modify, and revoke licenses to practice mold remediation; maintain an up-to-date list of all licensees; report violations to the Attorney General; and adopt minimum standards of practice for licensed mold remediators. Establishes various required practices for licensees .Maryland Senate Bill 283 Establishes a task force on indoor air quality and requires the task force to study the nature, location, and extent of health and environmental risks posed to workers as a result of molds, spores, and other toxic organisms located in the HVAC systems of office buildings. Requires recommendations regarding prevention of illnesses, remedies and controls, a plan to provide educational information, and legislative or regulatory measures necessary to address current gaps in federal, state and local protection of office workers. Requires the task force to submit a final report of its findings and recommendations to the Governor and the legislature [see report at:http://www.dllr.state.md.us/labor/indoorairfinal/iaqfinalreportjuly12002.doc#_Toc13131937. Michigan 565.951--.966 Requires sellers of residential property consisting of 1-4 dwelling units to complete a seller's disclosure statement, which provides for disclosure of any environmental hazards on the property, including radon gas. The disclosure statement was amended in 2005 to recommend that buyers have a professional inspection conducted that specifically addresses indoor air and water quality, as well as any evidence of potential allergens such as mold, mildew and bacteria. Minnesota 123B.57 Provides that in order to receive state health and safety revenue, school districts must adopt a health and safety program. Requires that the program include an IAQ management plan that incorporates a plan to test for and mitigate radon and a plan to monitor and improve indoor air quality. Establishes that health and safety revenues may be used for HVAC upgrades and mold abatement activities. Mississippi 83-58-5 Excludes mold and mold damage from home builder warranty, unless the builder's negligence was a proximate or contributing cause, or unless the parties agree otherwise in writing. Montana 70-16-703 Requires sellers, landlords or their agents to inform buyers or renters of the known presence of mold in a building and to provide buyers or renters with the results of any mold tests that have been conducted. Authorizes sellers, landlords, agents, and property managers to provide buyers or tenants with a mold disclosure statement specified in the statute. Provides for relief from liability in certain cases for sellers and landlords who comply with these provisions. New Jersey 56:8-19.1 Limits liability of licensed real estate brokers or salespersons for communicating false, misleading or deceptive information, where the licensee had no actual knowledge of the information, and made a diligent effort (e.g., obtained a property disclosure report from seller) to ascertain whether the information was false or misleading. State real estate commission property disclosure report adopted pursuant to the act (N.J. Admin. Code 13:45A-29.1) includes disclosure of the presence of mold on the property. Disclosure statement also includes a section in which seller may opt to provide information to buyer about radon testing prior to the contract for sale, rather than at the time of the contract.34:6A-1, et seq. Requires that every employer furnish a place of employment that is reasonably safe and healthful for employees, including adequate ventilation, and authorizes the state to adopt rules. Rules adopted under the law (NJ Admin. Code, 12:100-13.1) establish safety and health standards for public workplaces, including certain requirements for addressing indoor air quality. The regulations require that employers: establish and implement a preventive HVAC maintenance plan that includes a number of specified practices; undertake certain mold prevention and clean-up practices; protect indoor air quality during renovation; respond to IAQ complaints; and keep records of maintenance activities. New York 1384 Establishes a state mold task force for the purpose of conducting a study and preparing a report covering the current state of knowledge about mold, the status of the problem in the state, and feasible legislative and executive actions to address the problem. Ohio 5302.30 Requires sellers of residential real property containing 1-4 units to deliver a disclosure form to buyers disclosing the presence of hazardous materials or substances, including radon gas. Regulations adopted under the law (Ohio Admin. Code § 1301:1-4-10) establish the form, which includes disclosure of mold inspection or remediation of the property, and contains a warning statement about mold to purchasers. Oklahoma 1011 Establishes a Joint Task Force on Mold and Mold Remediation, and requires the task force to report its findings and recommendations to the legislature.15-765.4 Provides that any person or entity that inspects houses for mold shall not also render services for removing the mold unless the total cost of the inspection and removal is $200 or less.60-831--839 Requires sellers of residential property consisting of 1-2 dwelling units to provide to purchasers either a written property disclaimer statement or written Property Condition Disclosure Statement. Requires the Oklahoma Real Estate Commission to establish by rule a form for the disclosure statement. The disclosure statement adopted under the law [see
http://www.state.ok.us/%7Eorec/pdf/DisclosureFormEff70104.pdf] requires seller to disclose known presence of radon or any radon testing. Also requires seller to disclose any mold inspections or treatment Oregon 105.462-105.490 Amends existing disclosure law to require sellers of real property consisting of 1-4 dwelling units to provide buyers with a seller's property disclosure statement, which includes disclosure of any testing of or treatment for formaldehyde, radon gas, or mold on the property. Pennsylvania 171 Urges the Department of Health to establish a task force to investigate mold in homes, schools, and other buildings. South Carolina 40-57-137 Provides that no legal cause of action may be brought against real estate licensees who truthfully disclose any known material defects, including moisture or mold problems. South Dakota 43-4-37--44 Requires sellers of residential property to provide a disclosure form, including disclosure of known hazardous conditions including radon and mold. Also requires form to disclose whether any tests for radon or mold have been performed. Tennessee 381 (H.B. 891) Creates a special joint committee to study mold abatement in public schools, which must report findings and recommendations to the General Assembly no later than March 1, 2004. Texas 544.301--.305 Prohibits an insurer from making an underwriting decision regarding a residential property insurance policy based on previous mold damage or mold damage claim if: mold remediation has been performed on the property and a certificate of mold remediation was issued to the property owner; or an independent assessor or adjustor inspected the property and determined that the property does not contain evidence of mold damage. State has incorporated this provision in its consumer bill of rights information to be distributed by insurers (see 28 Texas Admin. Code 5.9970)1958.001 et seq. Prohibits a person from engaging in mold assessment or remediation, as defined in the law and regulations, unless that person holds a license from the state. Prohibits license holders (except those employed by school districts) from performing both mold assessment and mold remediation on the same project. Establishes certain minimum work practices and record-keeping requirements for licensed mold assessors and remediators. Requires the Board of Health to adopt rules governing the licensing program, including minimum performance standards and training requirements (see 25 Texas Admin. Code 295.301-295.338). Authorizes the board to adopt rules that facilitate reciprocity and communication with other states that have a similar licensing program. Directs the Department of Health to administer the program, and requires the department to investigate complaints regarding mold-related activities. Provides for administrative and civil penalties. Also requires the department to conduct a statewide education and outreach program on IAQ and mold.430.001, 430.003 Requires the Texas Residential Construction Commission to adopt limited statutory warranties and building and performance standards for residential construction, which include standards for mold reduction and remediation designed to reduce exposure to mold from water-damaged building materials. Requires these provisions to include measures for recognizing mold, water damage, and microbial volatile compounds, as well as recommended management practices for mold remediation and for limiting moisture intrusion. Requires the appointment of a task force to advise the commission and to consider the feasibility of adopting permissible limits for exposure to mold in indoor environments. State adopted rule appointing Mold Reduction and Remediation Task Force (see 10 Texas Admin. Code 300.5).23.23 Provides that where mold or water damage render a residential structure unusable, the improvement of that structure is notconsidered a new improvement for tax assessment purposes, with certain exceptions. Virginia 55-248.13 Requires landlords and tenants to use reasonable efforts to maintain the premises to prevent the accumulation of moisture and the growth of mold. Requires landlords to respond promptly to notifications by tenants of mold or moisture accumulation. Washington 59.18.060 Requires landlords to provide tenants with written or posted information approved by the department of health about the health hazards of indoor mold and how to control mold growth to minimize health risks.